Our Services

Pruning & Maintenance

Website pic 3IMG_3612IMG_0906

Because drastic cuts or changes in shapes of trees cannot be reversed, our approach is to work conservatively and thoughtfully toward the pruning goal until it is reached.

Pruning trees should be a decision-making process from start to finish.  Knowing what to prune, when to prune, where to prune, how to prune, and how much to prune are all important for the future health and maintenance needs of the tree.  Each limb must be inspected and each cut should be chosen carefully.

Website Pic 2 IMG_0756 IMG_1771

What is Fine Pruning?

Fine Pruning involves 3 basic principles.

  1. Decision-making.  This is a crucial aspect of pruning trees from start to finish. First, each job we do is headed up by a Certified Arborist, who carefully studies each individual tree and its surroundings.  We examine the tree for health and/or structural issues, and collaborate with you on your pruning goals.  Then, we develop a pruning plan for the tree.  As we begin the work, and especially with larger trees, we carefully consider each and every cut we make.
  2. The cut.  It is most important for the healing and recovery of the tree that pruning cuts be made properly.  This is determined by both the technique and the tools used for the job.  We use a variety of hand saws, pole saws, pole pruners, pruning shears, and chain saws.  It is important that the tools are sharp and the resulting cut is clean, smooth and even across.  In each neighborhood we visit, we see examples of both fine pruning and damaging, unsightly and often irreversible mistakes.  The company you hire should have a reputation for quality and conscientious work.
  3. Care of surroundings.  It would be pointless to prune or remove a tree and in the process damage adjacent trees or property, yet it is surprisingly common.  We take great care in our pruning and removal operations to avoid damaging other trees, structures and landscape.

NOVA Arborist 16 IMG_1980 DSCN1635

Tree  Maintenance

We always say, trees are just like us – they stay healthier and look better with periodic maintenance!

Periodic maintenance helps your trees…

  1. Always look their best,
  2. Defend against pests and diseases, and
  3. Stay upright and structurally intact.
  4. Maintenance is the key to keeping your trees looking their best and costing you less!  For most trees, some light pruning, done correctly, every 3-5 years is enough to keep them strong, healthy and beautiful.
  5. It is important to note that a sick or problematic tree need NOT always be cut down!  We rehab neglected and dilapidated trees all the time, restoring their health, beauty and structural integrity.
  6. Considering that a large, mature tree can cost thousands of dollars to remove and a lifetime to replace,  periodic maintenance is the best approach.

Download 12-31-12 267

Common Pruning Operations

There are 4 main types of pruning operations that will enhance the health and aesthetic value of your trees, and in turn, add value and character to your property.

  • Health & Maintenance Pruning. Health & Maintenance Pruning is the removing or reducing of dead or damaged limbs, crossing or crowded limbs, and overextended limbs.  This should be performed on virtually all trees periodically for several reasons. The most common is to remove dead or damaged limbs before they fall (causing damage), or before their decay reaches a main limb or trunk which can cause lasting problems for the entire tree. Crossing or crowded limbs cause damage to each other, and can result in unsightly “dieback” starting at the ends of the limbs.  Overextended limbs should be reduced periodically to prevent overweighting & storm damage.  We call our Health & Maintenance Pruning a “3-5 year pruning”, because, if done properly, this is as often as it needs to be done for most trees.
  • Raising the Canopy.  This is a practice that is commonly misunderstood by both homeowners and unfortunately many “tree services”.  Raising canopies should be done with careful discretion, because lower limbs help the lower trunk develop strongly enough to support the continued growth at the top of the tree.  If a limb can be pruned back, or reduced, to achieve the goal without removing the entire limb, this is preferable for the future structural stability of the tree.  Reducing or removing lower limbs up to a desired point is most often done to allow people or landscapers to pass underneath.    Other reasons are to clear structures and keep limbs from encroaching on wires, walkways, streets, and lighting.  If getting more sunlight for the growth of grass is the goal, this should be achieved by a combination of reducing lower limbs and thinning the upper canopy.
  • Thinning the Canopy.  Often on trees with dense foliage, interior branches will receive inadequate sunlight and die off. In other cases, trees that have been stressed in the past will grow small chutes (called “water sprouts”) from the trunk and along main branches. In both cases these should be removed and the canopy thinned for the long term health of the tree. On large, potentially hazardous trees, thinning the canopy and reducing overgrown or crowded limbs will reduce the weight that the trunk must support and will reduce wind stress on the tree by allowing the wind to pass through more easily.
  • Crown Reduction.  If your goal is to “make the tree smaller”, a crown reduction is what your tree needs. This is done by reducing the main trunk and pruning the outer portions of all main branches to reduce their length. This is not the same as “Topping”, which is common but not usually advisable.  Crown reduction should be done carefully and selectively by an experienced Arborist.
Back to Top